This past July has been a good month for drivers. As people hit the road for their yearly vacations and road trips, the price of gas has been slowly declining, according to AAA.
Declining gas prices.
The national average gas price has been falling over the past 24 days. With prices averaging for unleaded gasoline around $3.57 across the nation, today's prices are the lowest since April 4, AAA reported. It is certainly a decrease from the steeper prices seen during the Fourth of July, when $3.68 was the national average.
This report shows that gas prices are currently higher than the the U.S. Energy Information Administrations had projected. They predicted in June that, throughout the rest of 2014, the average price of regular-grade gasoline would be $3.48, 20 cents lower than the average.The EIA's projection predicts that the fall of gas will continue. The expected average price for gas in 2015 is $3.38.
Those living in the Midwest have seen the largest drop in prices, where six states have experienced a price decrease of over 20 cents. According to AAA, these states include: "Illinois (-32 cents), Kansas (-24 cents), Minnesota (-24 cents), Indiana (-23 cents), Missouri (-21 cents) and Michigan (-21 cents)."
Effects of the global market
Despite these positive outlooks, gas prices can be heavily effected by world events. Professionals in the fuel industry will be keeping a close eye on the unrest in the Middle East, especially with the current violence between Hamas and Israel. The tension between the Ukraine and Russia could also affect the industry. AAA reported that any stronger sanctions placed on Russia by NATO or the European Union could affect global markets, which would certainly have an effect on oil prices.
What can you do?
As a customer, you cannot control world events. While consumers play a large role in the global economy, events such as natural disasters and war are unpredictable and can throw a wrench in the market. However, you do have control over our own driving habits.
There are several things to keep in mind to help curb your price at the pump. By being a safe driver, increasing speed slowly and stopping gradually, you can use your gas more efficiently. Try looking into any rewards programs your local gas station might be participating in, as those can be a great way to save money. Also, be smart about where you're filling up. Find the station in your area that tends to have the lowest prices.
Regularly scheduled maintenance is key to ensuring your car is reaching the best gas mileage it can. Your local auto repair shop can keep your car in top shape, something that can make a big difference. For example, if your tire pressure is low, you won't be getting the most out of the gas you buy.